Friday 4 October 2013

Migrant news

Today's headlines:

Bonelli's Warbler re-found?

New species found in garden.

The weather has perked up today. After a week of strong South-Easterly winds today it has eased and with the early morning rain clearing the sun came out and it has been a pleasantly mild day.

A quick stroll at lunchtime with my good lady down the track from the house to the road, along the road and back up the next track didn't reveal anything too interesting. A single Swallow was seen flying about and a single Wheatear led the way as we walked along the road. There are still a few Meadow Pipits about and a couple of pairs of Skylarks were chasing each other around. A couple of Linnets also flew overhead.

On a sad note a dead Curlew was found at the side of the road, possibly the victim of getting caught up on the barbed wire fence.

Barrie has been out and about again today and found a Bonelli's Warbler within 200 yards of where he found the previous one on the 23 Sep. It is most likely to be the same bird. Join by Paul, another local birder, it was eventually confirmed as a Western Bonelli's Warbler.

Mid afternoon I took a break from work to make a brew and while waiting for the kettle to boil I threw my apple core from lunchtime out onto the lawn. As soon as it had stopped rolling there was a female Blackbird onto it. Through the scope I could see she was wearing a shiny ring so I'm guessing she might be one of the chicks that were ringed in the garden earlier in the year.

She was soon joined by a male Blackbird and shortly after that a third bird appeared which was quickly chased off by the other two. As it flew to the small tree in the corner of the lawned area something didn't look quite right. Grabbing the binoculars and focusing in on the bird I could see straight away it wasn't a Blackbird. The first thing I noticed was that the body feathers all seemed to have pale edges making it look like the bird was covered in scales. It had a pale chin and throat. All indicators were pointing me towards a Ring Ouzel but lacking the usual White crescent this bird had to be a first winter bird.

It disappeared from view but I quickly relocated it on the rough ground across from the garden and its call as it flew off confirm that it was a Ring Ouzel.

I got in touch with Barrie to let him know that it was about and he was soon on site and after a brief look around for it it was located and he confirmed it was a Ring Ouzel.

So a well timed tea break resulted in a new bird for the garden, a new bird for the patch (2 points) and a new bird for the life list as this was the first time I had seen this species in the wild.

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